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Sat Dec 22, 2012, 08:45 AM

John Boehner: Can anyone govern the Crazy Caucus?


House Speaker John Boehner looked ineffectual on Plan B -- but he just might be his party's only hope

BY JONATHAN BERNSTEIN


John Boehner may not last much longer as speaker of the House – but I wouldn’t count him out. Despite having an impossible situation, he’s probably done about as well as anyone could, this week’s Plan B meltdown notwithstanding. He may, as Steve Kornacki suggests, simply decide he’s had it and walk away. But House Republicans, whether moderate or conservative, would be foolish to encourage it.

For most of the 20th century, speaker of the House wasn’t a particularly important job – powerful committee chairs ruled, and speakers could do little about it. A long process of reform, however, removed most of the clout of those barons and strengthened party leadership, making modern speakers far more powerful than their mid-century predecessors. Since the modern speakership emerged in the 1970s, there have been three basic models of how to handle the office:

Dictators: Newt Gingrich and Jim Wright. Both used the rules to maximize the influence of the speaker, running a top-down House which brought whatever the speaker wanted to the floor with ruthless efficiency. Committees were mostly irrelevant, and they were packed to guarantee the speaker’s influence anyway. In both cases, members were at first perfectly happy with the arrangement; both speakerships began with plenty of pent-up majority party ideas, and so having those ideas turned into laws (or at least having them pass the House) was enough to keep everyone happy – for a while. Soon enough, however, members tired of the situation, and neither Gingrich nor Wright lasted long in their jobs.

Weaklings: Dennis Hastert and Tom Foley. Both followed dictators, and both reacted by decentralizing, giving committees more responsibility. Generally, it didn’t work out very well. It’s probably a coincidence that both speakerships ended when their parties lost majorities in the House, but it may not be a coincidence that both had majorities with an unusual number of ethics scandals. Both found it difficult to pass legislation – remember that Bill Clinton’s health bill never made it to the House floor.

-snip-

more:
http://www.salon.com/2012/12/22/john_boehner_can_anyone_govern_the_crazy_caucus/

8 replies, 1265 views

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:10 AM

1. John Boehner: You knew the job was dangerous whey ya took it...



Of course elected officials shouldn't be acting like cats.
Then and again we are talking about republicans.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:38 PM

2. Gotta give Boehner credit for neutralizing his enemies within

Put Cantor and Ryan in key negotiating spots so that they cannot criticize leadership positions. Unfortunately, I think Ryan is double agent of slime and is behind the revolt of the crazies. When all is said and done I look for Paul Ryan to openly challenge Boehner for Speaker of the House.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:44 PM

3. Boehner is no different than any right-wing Republican. He is only acting like he wants to work

with the President to make himself look responsible. Everything he says and does is consistent with the right-wing teabaggers who control the party. Hell, he went to a Christmas party where the President was at the same time and would not speak to him. His hatred for the President is the same as McConnell and the rest of the GOP.

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Response to AlinPA (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 02:11 PM

4. Thank you, AlinPA

They all bow at Kochs' knees.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 02:58 PM

5. Plan B is DOA no matter what. How is it their only hope? n/t

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Response to savalez (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:21 AM

6. If I could sing like the Beach Boys, this would be my Bonehead Plan B song:

(Sung to the tune of "Sloop John B," Beach Boys version)
John Boehner singing:
A.
Well we worked on our own Plan B
The Tea Party and me
We tried to make Obama’s strategy fail
They got on the phone
And left me alone
I feel so broke up
I want to go home

Chorus A:
So look how my Plan B failed
This must be as bad as it gets.
I will be Speaker no longer if this goes on
The Christmas recess
Has left me a mess
I feel so broke up
I want to go home

A.
Now Obama had his Plan A
We fought it all of the way
We vowed to never raise taxes on anyone
We eyed some loopholes,
Got trashed in the polls
I feel so broke up
I want to go home

Chorus B:
So look how my Plan B failed
This must be as bad as it gets
I hear Cincinnati calling me home
There’s no compromise
And tears in my eyes
I feel so broke up
I want to go home

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Response to DFW (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:09 PM

8. LOL It works!

Very nice.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 12:17 PM

7. When you lie down with dogs, you get fleas.

The Repub leadership co-opted the tea party movement to get more power and to get those votes. Now they have to deal with consequences. I think Boehner is probably more reasonable then the average tea party Rep but we all saw this coming a long time ago. They wanted the monster, they have to deal with it.

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